Saturday, September 23, 2023

Freezing It

I had been wanting to make a place where I could put people's beef orders so they could come get them without me being around. Well.... Ernie to the rescue. 

Ernie consolidated his freezers into one upright unit, leaving this chest freezer to whatever scavenger wanted it.

This beauty is just what Jared and I were looking for.

Joe set us up with a couple of pallets to set it on.

Then we went to cleaning. 


Here at Lungren Brothers Cattle Company, we are committed to service. We understand that when you need beef, you need beef! You can't be waiting around for the priest to fit you into his schedule. Therefore, we now offer a self-serve outdoor freezer. Next, we might look into a mobile ordering app. 

Plum Creek

Dcn. Joe Sandrini and I had been wanting to ride the country around his place for some time. Well, Friday was the day. Joe and his family live on Plum Creek, north of Newcastle WY. Great day for a ride, even if they were forecasting rain. 

Chief and Joe hit it off right away. After all, Chief's halter was an ordination gift to us from Joe back in 18. 

Cool country. Our end mission was to round up this bunch of cows in order to doctor a sick steer. 

Plenty of elk in these parts. Joe's day job is as a biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish. He says that this trial we're on is not made by cattle, but by elk. 

Over this ridge is Big Plum Creek. In the back ground the storms clouds are building. 

Giddy up. 

After our site seeing, the skies opened up. 

Back to work. We gathered their herd of red, and a couple black, angus cows and headed for the corrals. 

A good fence is worth 10 cowboys. 

This particular place that the cattle are on has some cool old buildings.


This is what they call a broadax cabin. From my understanding, they would chip away at the log, while it was on the ground, with the ax part of the tool, then turn it and flatten the log with the broad part of it. Why they went to this much work for a flat inside and outside wall, I still don't know. Some say that the old way was round logs. The new way, at that time, was broadax. Guess you could stucco the outside or something, and make it look like you were a high-class homesteader. 

Eventually Hank showed up. He seems to only come out when the sun is shinning. Fair weather cowboy. 

Good stuff.

Nice ride. 

Sandrini beef. 

Fun time. If there's one thing I enjoy, it is seeing new country. If it's on horseback, all the better. Combine that with a good Catholic Cowboy compadre, then we're ranchin. I suppose we could have put this outing off to another day when the forecast seemed more favorable. But where's the adventure in that? Life is about riding out storms. Sure we can sit indoors and passively wait for tough times to pass. Or we can saddle up and take them head on. Cowboys choose the latter.  The storms in life will come. But Jesus says, Behold, I am with you always (Matthew 28:20). It's through storms that we get stories. Don't be afraid of what might come. Sit tall in the saddle with what is. That's where Christ can be found. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Start to Finish

With the cows all fattened up from summer grass, it's fun look back on where they started from. I bet on average these critters put on 400lbs over the four months we grazed them.

We started with two cows from the Etchemendy Ranch northeast of Douglas WY.

Mid summer, 59 was growing real nice. 

One thing noticeable about this cow, other than the weight she put on, is how tall she got. 

We also got two heiferettes from the Isenberger Ranch south of Wright WY. This girl had a good start in life. 

Over the summer she put on some good weight, but she also just slicked up real nice.

This Charolais cross was the funnest to watch grow. She came off the HooDoo Ranch north of Cody WY. 

The green grass of the Black Hills really helped her grow up. 

Four months later, she's fat!

Good stuff. It's been fun to watch these girls. As 2 year old heifers, they are still on the natural grow. All we have to do is put them on good grass and stand back. I'm sold. Grass fattening heiferettes is ranching's best kept secret. God willing, and the cattle prices don't rise, we'll be able to continue this endeavor well into the future. 


Truth is when my mind conforms to reality. Not vice versa. 

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Forgiveness from the Heart

If we haven't forgotten, we haven't forgiven.  

Murphy's Place

Nancy Murphy has been trying to get me out to bless their cabin for years. Well, the stars finally aligned this Sunday. After Mass in Moorcroft she jumped in the truck and showed me the way to their place on the east side of Key Hole Reservoir. 

Beautiful area. Where we stand looks right down upon the their cabin and the spread of the lake. This area is also the beginning of the Black Hills of Wyoming. 

You don't want to take your mother's Buick down this road. And if it rains, you might want to call in sick for work. 

They had a big family get together this weekend to celebrate Nancy's 90th birthday.  

Nancy says she "refuses to act her age."

The cabin is set up for family fun. Many bedrooms and plenty of room for kids to run.

Grandpa Tom, who passed away within the last couple of years, built this grotto to honor our Blessed Mother. Nancy and him have always been so faithful. Now I know why. 

The water is definitely the main source of entertainment. 

In her younger years, Nancy was quite the water skier. She figures that over the years Tom and her taught some 500 people how to water ski. 

The great grand kids are easily entertained. 

To top off a good afternoon, I even got a boat tour around Key Hole. 


The priesthood is an adventure. I really never quite know what the next day is going to bring. But one thing I can guarantee is that it won't be boring. I love it. Accepting an invitation to bless Nancy Murphy's cabin just opened the door for a pretty fun afternoon. God has a mission for us to accomplish. But He also want us to have fun in the process. On to the next one. 

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Huck and Pray

I'll all about combining recreation with a good cause. Such was the case with William's second annual disc golf tournament to help raise money for faith formation here at St. Matthews. 

The Camplex in Gillette has a beautiful disc golf course. Last time I played this sport was PE class in high school. 

William's not afraid to think outside of the box. Why not take something you already like to do and use it for the greater glory of God and the building up of His Kingdom? I'm down. 

Just like in golf, disc golf courses are laid out according to distance and terrain. All the holes on this course are par 3. 

Teeing off is key. Here, Jason gives us a lesson in proper driving form. 

Plenty of trees around here. All you have do is keep your foot on the place where the disc last landed. Here, Brandon drains a putt from a peculiar place. 

One technique, if you have a lot of obstacles in your way, is to land the disc vertically on the ground and let it run upon the grass. 

I pretty much implored the old cowboy way of just throwing it as hard as you can. 

Cassidy used a little more finesse. Once you're at the hole, all you have to do is sink the disc in basket below the chains. 

After 18 holes, we all arrived back for some Lungren Brothers hamburgers. 

Then William and Jason handed out awards. 

Somehow, yours truly came out on top of the beginners category. 

Just send it!

Sweetness. This morning's activity was right up my alley. Maybe not disc golf in itself. But taking something you naturally love and using it to proclaim the Gospel, that I can get behind. Well done, William. Keep on ranching in a free world, brother. 


Brace Post

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